Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Best of Mark Pilarski
I am all for getting winning chips off the felt and out of play as quickly as possible, Rob, but since your hypothetical question excludes the entertainment value of gambling, you still have to figure in driving to and from at $4 a gallon. A 44-mile round trip in a Chevy Impala is going to cost you 4 percent off the top. Besides, who in their right mind is going to drive to, park, tip valet, plop down a Benjamin, and walk?
A one-shot, Ben Franklin wager might mathematically be the correct move, but that’s because you are not allowing the grind down to take hold. This is where the casino eventually wins far more than 0.05 percent of the player’s money, due to the combination of the built-in advantage it has at blackjack, and the players’ self-defeating tendency to churn the initial bankroll.
The casino knows that the typical player does not play $100 just once, but keeps on playing those chips like Pavlov’s dog, over and over again. For example, let’s say you are the run-of-the-mill player and buy in for $100 worth of chips. With the expected loss of, "in theory," 5 percent ($5) over the course of your first hour, your original bankroll is reduced to $95. Then you start playing that $95, so after another hour goes by you are sitting with $90 and change. Play the $90, and you will have just $85.
You, of course, are playing perfect basic strategy, so the usual 5 percent is only 0.05 percent, and yet the grind is still at work. Mix in a lack of discipline, or better yet, free drinks, and that 0.05 percent can easily become 1-5 percent. Still, with a one-bet exposure to loss, you’re busted. Whereas, grinding it out, you could win, decide not to blow it all, accumulate comps, succumb after an extended period of time and call it entertainment, or lose in mere minutes when playing $10 a pop. That’s why they call it gambling, hopefully, with money you can afford to lose.
Your winning progression idea, setting aside your original bankroll ($100) plus half your winnings, then betting the remainder while bankrolling additional winnings, has some rootin’-tootin’ merit, but do you really have the discipline to stick to it?
Personally, if I were limited to making just one $100 play, I would park my rear end in a cushy chair and place a point-spread wager on a sporting event. Scrounge up some loose change from under the driver’s seat for some $1 hot dogs and drafts, and life, as they say, doesn’t get any better. Unfortunately, Rob, this only works where legalized sports betting is allowed.
Gambling Wisdom of the Week: "A poker game can go on for 12 hours. When you’re on a winning streak, the feeling is better than any other feeling I know." ?- Colin Hayes, Evening Standard Magazine, July 15, 1994, "?Thoughts of would-be professional poker player".